The Who’s ‘Eminence Front’ Tops ‘Best Songs’ List


Goldmine magazine contributor Martin Popoff has listed the 'Top 20 Songs' by the Who with 1982's “Eminence Front” topping the list. Coming in second was the band's 1981 MTV breakthrough hit “You Better You Bet,” 1978's “Who Are You” rests at Number Three, with 1982's “It's Hard” coming in at Number Four,” and the '81 Face Dances favorite “Daily Records” rounding out the Top Five.

Surprisingly, coming in at Number Six is the 2006 Endless Wire track, “Mike Post Theme.” Pete Townshend explained to us why he chose to write a love letter of sorts to the famed TV theme composer: “There are some TV themes that really, y'know, they sort of touch my heart in a way and I tried to pick the one I love the most and think it was the theme to Hill Street Blues. So, this song is really about Hill Street Blues — for me, anyway.”

Sitting at Number 19 is Roger Daltrey's Quadrophenia tour-de-force “The Dirty Jobs.” We asked Daltrey to shed light on the ultimate ode to the working class man: “It was written for me, I knew exactly where it sat. It was sung with extreme compassion — but also with incredible anger (laughs) — a strange mix. I tried to leave it with a kind of sense of lonely hopefulness. Whether or not I achieved that, I don't know.”

The newest song on the list is 2019's WHO opener — “All This Music Must Fade,” which came in at Number 13. During Pete Townshend's recent appearance on NPR, he shed light on the meaning behind the tune: “Since the '60s it's become more and more basic, more and more simple. Music is often what's borrowed, what is often stolen, what is often echoed, what is often repeated — particularly in our business. So, it's kind of absurd for somebody to pop out of the woodwork and accuse, let's say, somebody like Ed Sheeran — whose music is not exactly (Arnold) Schoenberg — of ripping off some earlier song. It just happens. We only have this limited language to deal with.”

'THE TOP 20 SONGS BY THE WHO' – according to Goldmine

1. “Eminence Front” – 1982
2. “You Better You Bet” – 1981
3. “Who Are You” – 1978
4. “It’s Hard” – 1982
5. “Daily Records” – 1981
6. “Mike Post Theme” – 2006
7. “Imagine A Man” – 1975
8. “However Much I Booze” – 1975
9. “I’ve Known No War” – 1982
10. “It’s Not Enough” – 2006
11. “Baba O’Riley” – 1971
12. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – 1971
13. “All This Music Must Fade” – 2019
14. “Fragments” – 2006
15. “Blue Red And Grey” – 1975
16. “Bargain” – 1971
17. “Happy Jack” – 1966
18. “The Kids Are Alright” – 1966
19. “The Dirty Jobs” – 1973
20. “So Sad About Us” – 1967